This holiday season, pledge not to shop at Amazon.com

Pledge not to shop at AmazonIn September, an investigative report revealed that Amazon.com’s Breinigsville, PA, warehouse has been operating like a sweatshop – with employees working on their hands and knees at a frantic pace, enduring the pain because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. Amazon had even forced employees to work in temperatures so high that the company kept ambulances parked outside to carry sick workers out on stretchers.

After thousands of outraged customers wrote to Amazon’s CEO demanding that the retailer set things right, Amazon is now planning to install air conditioners in its warehouses. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t bothered to address other problems that are just as serious.

Amazon still relies on temporary employees who are forced to work at exhausting, brutal speeds simply because it’s cheaper. According to the Allentown Morning Call, one temporary worker “…was expected to pick 1,200 items in a 10-hour shift, or one item every 30 seconds.”

Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult for temporary workers to organize for better working conditions. That’s why this holiday season, we’re urging consumers to take a pledge that they won’t shop with Amazon. You can join them here.

Like most retailers, Amazon depends on holiday shopping for a large percentage of its profit. During the biggest retail season of the year, Amazon won’t want to risk losing customers – which means right now is our best opportunity to make a difference for its warehouse workers.

Amazon is a $100 billion corporate giant-there’s simply no excuse for putting workers’ health and well-being at risk. The company’s employees deserve better. And as customers, we can demand better.

Click here to take the pledge to not shop at Amazon this holiday season.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at 5:24 pm and is filed under General, Jobs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “This holiday season, pledge not to shop at Amazon.com”

  1. Paul says:

    Great idea! Now were should we shop over the holidays. It is really hard to find a list of worker friendly companies on the web.

  2. Alex says:

    I second Paul’s question: where do I shop?? I so depend on Amazon, and after a short visit to the Mall yesterday, I really want to avoid Christmas shopping there! What are the alternatives??

  3. Sheila says:

    If you really believe in justice for workers, take the money you don’t use to buy books from Amazon and give that sum to an enterprise that deals justly with its workers or another cause you believe in-your church, the Salvation Army, Doctors without Borders, NRDC, etc. Then tell your favorite niece or Mom or someone else with your values that his/her gift was a donation to the organization of your choice. Or find a reputable book store.

  4. Judith Sanders says:

    Like thousands of independent booksellers and artisans, I use the Amazon sales platform. We wrap and ship right from our own homes, and have no connection to any Amazon-owned warehouse. Your boycott will hurt us far more than it will hurt the corporation! I rely on my Amazon.com book sales to earn enough to pay my health insurance premium. My Daughter relies on it for all her textbooks.
    WHY do you want to crush small businesses like mine?

  5. Billy Baroo says:

    I would like to know how many Amazon employees agree that this approach is the right thing for them and their families. It seems illogical to me that worker conditions can be improved by hurting the finances of the Company with a call for a boycott -
    no money = no improvements
    falling revenues = lay-offs/fewer jobs
    etc., etc., etc.

  6. R Weaver says:

    I’m using Powells this year, an independent bookstore, for my on-line shopping. Other years I’ve relied heavily on Amazon — so convenient — but I’m not going to anymore. I just don’t want to be part of the race to the bottom. Hope Amazon gets the message. Whenever a social movement has sought reform there’s been an attempt to highlight innocent individuals harmed by the boycott, and I don’t want to minimize that reality, but there comes a time when enough is enough.

  7. An Amazon Seller says:

    Sadly, this boycott does not consider the many thousands of small business people who rely upon Amazon sales as their primary source of income. Boycotting Amazon will have little effect on the cash-rich Amazon corporation, which can easily absorb the loss. However, it may drastically affect the many, many individuals and small business owners who use the Amazon platform to sell their goods.

    Fewer sales for small businesses on Amazon means less revenue, which leads to layoffs of small business employees and potential loss of small businesses altogether, especially mom-and-pops and sole proprietorships. After all, like Amazon, these small business owners also depend upon holiday shopping. They spend on inventory, payroll and other overhead for 9 months in the hope that they will make their annual profits in the fourth quarter. If fourth quarter does not meet expectations, then the entire year may be a loss.

    It is great to look out for workers, but it is even better to consider the larger Amazon environment. And those small business owners among us who are the real “job creators” in our local economies, all thanks to sales on Amazon. It seems that no one organizing this boycott even considered the implications of their proposed action on the everyday folks who depend upon Amazon sales.

  8. joe says:

    After reading some of these replys, I find it amazing that even small business owners still don’t see the issue here. This is the problem with basically most of American business. these sellers say that participating in this boycott will hurt their business . Do any of them ever look beyond their front window? The reason this economy is in shambles is because we have an entire nation living on ‘ part time wages ‘ and work hours. No full time wages = NO spending power. I should know. After being employed for 19 years at a major grocery distributor, the corporation was bought out by a ‘ corporate raider ‘ who then moved the company to a neighboring state. They were at the time making record profits. ( I’m not trying to skew the facts, because all of this is true ) The result ? The loss of my job resulted in my wages being cut in half, and forced me to sell my home. It took many years for me to climb out of this situation. During that time I had no spending power..it’s a viscious cycle. Now, 20 years later I find myself in a similar situation , working for a quasi government agency. So, no one is against small business. But when you give workers no spending power, and horrible working conditions, this is the result. A consumer with no $$ to spend. Comprende??

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